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Cecile Raley Designs

December Birthstones: Is Tanzanite a Good Buy?

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

As most of you who read my blog know, I don’t think much of birthstones.  My own birthstone is pearl, with alternates of moonstone and alexandrite, but my favorite gems are emerald, sapphire and tsavorite.  All of these go well with my skin tone and with the colors I like to wear, which should really be more important.
While the association between zodiac signs and specific gems goes way back, the...

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Rubies for the Masses – Glass Filled!

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

You might have heard about glass filled ruby scams on the news, they were a big story last year.  Or you read about them in my etsy listings.  Anyway, when glass filled rubies first became big in 2004 and 2005, they also fooled a lot of dealers on 47th Street. Just the other day, an older man approached my gemstone dealer to sell a large faceted ruby.  D. refused to buy.  The old man wanted a...

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Gem Show Bounty

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Since the holidays are coming around, I thought I’d do something different this time.  I was at a jewelry and gem show last weekend – had a blast – and bought a bunch of gems in preparation for December sales.  I am going to have about 4 local shows, one or two private parties, and of course I’m going to sell on Etsy.  To those of you who read this blog, I want to offer first dibs, however, before...

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Dime a Dozen or Hard to Find?

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

It really took me a while to get the hang of determining which gemstones are rare and which aren’t.  This shouldn’t have been so hard, but because markups in colored stones are often high, it really isn’t in the jewelry industry’s best interest to make that information easy to obtain.  And gemstone dealers always want to tell you that their offerings are rare. 
So I’ve tried to come up with my own...

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Stone Setting Pro’s and Woes

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

I don’t set my own stones.  Or hardly ever.  And this is not much of a confession, because being a stone setter is a separate job from being a jeweler or goldsmith.  Both of those employ setters (as well as casting services and polishing services).  A good friend of mine - a 40 year industry veteran who has taught at a well known goldsmith school in Germany - has never set a stone.  My aunt, who...

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